Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:53 AM

Stanley Cup Game 3 Picks, Odds, Predictions - Stars vs. Lightning

Game 3 - Tampa Bay at Dallas

  • Playoffs: Stanley Cup Finals
  • Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2020
  • TV-Time: NBCSN, 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Rogers Place
  • Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Under normal circumstances this would be a 1-1 series tie with Dallas going home and I think in any scenario it's still something I'd take being on the Stars for the series.

The only advantage here for Dallas is getting last change, and given that they are 1-2 SU in these playoffs in those initial games with the last change, it hasn't been all that advantageous for them.

Two outright losses and needing OT to knock off the Knights last round. Not exactly the best track record but the price makes up for it, and any underdog is always going to have some flaws.

But really, if I'm the Stars, I'm frustrated we dropped Game 2, but more because it was the same old mistake cropping up for them: one bad stretch of hockey – a period or less – that buries them. This time it was the 1st period that saw a undisciplined period turn into a 3-0 hole. They had that awful 1st period in Game 5 of that series with Colorado, an awful final eight minutes or so in Game 3 of that series too, and one bad 2nd period in their only loss to Vegas (Game 2) last round.

There was no sitting back being timid after that 1st period went awry for the Stars, and they looked the better team for the majority of the rest of that Game 2 loss to Tampa. You can't blame them for not putting complete 60-minute efforts together on a nightly basis, but had they not had some of those awful periods and ultimately flipped a few of those games in their favor, we'd be talking about one of the best all-time playoff runs by a team that there ever has been.

For whatever reason they let the 3rd period of Game 1 carry over to the beginning of Game 2 and paid the price for it. A lesson this team is all too familiar with in these playoffs.

Khudobin's already got part time residence in the opposition's head for how often he's stolen games for the Stars in these playoffs, and as long as the guys in front of them can piece together a full 60 minute effort, I still don't believe these prices are where they should be.

The Stars went 2-0 SU off a loss vs Calgary, 2-1 SU off a loss vs Colorado, and 1-0 SU off their loss to Vegas.

That's a 5-1 SU run in this role for a team that clearly understands how to make adjustments and work their perceived advantages from there. We saw it from the 1st intermission last game when the Stars to a 14-6 deficit in the shot department after 20 minutes and went 18-5 in shots the other way the following 20 minutes.

Dallas is a team that's just so tough to put away, and one you don't want to be trying to catch up on late. That's always going to be a great profile for any underdog in the line.

The Stars have been through tough results like that in those prior series to fully understand how to not let that bad 1st period in Game 2 spiral into a 2-1 series hole.

They find a way to grab yet another series lead as the prohibitive underdog.

NHL Game 3 Prediction

  • Score Prediction: Dallas 4 Tampa Bay 2
  • Best Bet: Stars Money-Line +140

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